Filmmaker Interview 2019
Michaela Myers: "I feel most comfortable working with a female-dominant or gender-balanced crew, and I make a conscious effort to try and hire women when I can."
Tristan & Isaac | Writer/Director. Michaela Myers - US
Support the Campaign here: seedandspark.com | #TristanAndIsaac
After a happenstance meeting, Tristan and Isaac develop a seemingly impermeable romance. But when reality becomes unavoidable, all truths must be faced. Loosely inspired by the classic love story "Tristan and Isolde," our poetic short intends to capture the sacred quality of two people in love.
Hi Michaela thanks for talking to TNC, how is everything going?
Hey TNC! I'm so delighted to chat. Things are generally fabulous - just charging ahead with my film, which is taking up most of my time right now!
You're near to the end of your Crowdfunding Campaign, what has the response been like so far?
Crowdfunding has been a unique challenge. It's equally stressful and rewarding, and I'm learning so much from the experience. How difficult it is to ask for money and support, but learning to do so with sincerity and grace. It's so incredible the way people will show up for you.
How important is crowdfunding for independent filmmakers?
There's no way around it - making film costs money. For filmmakers like me who are passionate about making their own work but don't have the financial resources to self-finance, crowdfunding is a unique and necessary avenue to raise money. The film is inherently a collaborative medium, and crowdfunding feels really collaborative and supportive - it makes sense for indie filmmaking.
You are using Seed & Spark - how does this crowdfunding campaign differ to the others out there?
Seed & Spark is certainly a special crowdfunding platform. Unlike Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, Seed & Spark is ONLY for film, so it's deeply supportive of indie filmmakers.
Can you tell me a little bit about Tristan and Isaac, what's the inspiration behind this film?
My favourite films to watch over and over are love stories. We are completely vulnerable when totally in love - we are at the mercy of our own heart. Watching someone go through this on screen, getting to empathize with that feeling - I think it makes us feel less alone in our own vulnerability. That's so beautiful and special. I wanted to make something that would stimulate that feeling in my audience. I want it to feel like their - personal and intimate.
How did this film come about?
I originally wrote Tristan and Isaac as an acting challenge for myself, with the intention to make something simple and chemistry-focused. It's evolved into a passion project that is a vehicle to challenge myself as a producer, director, writer, and actor, as well as a piece meant to be lusciously beautiful and deeply moving.
"Write so much crap that you think you are only going to ever make crap."
This is going to a film by women & shot by a woman, is this the first time you've worked on a film with a female crew?
No, it's not. I feel most comfortable working with a female-dominant or gender-balanced crew, and I make a conscious effort to try and hire women when I can. I always want the best person for the job, but if I can find a woman who is the best person, then even better!
Are you looking forward to starting the shoot?
There is still so much prep work to do, but I am incredibly eager to get on set and see it all come to life!
Has filmmaking always been a passion of yours?
I've always wanted to be involved in making movies, but it wasn't until I gave myself permission in my mid-20s to actually make work myself that I became obsessed with the ins and outs of filmmaking.
What was the first project you worked on?
Oh man - I did a lot of crappy projects when I was first in Los Angeles, trying to find my footing as an actor. I started to make my own work about 8 years ago, though, just dabbling in writing and directing a little. My first project I made that I was really proud of was a fun little short called "Knolling" that I did with a friend, Calli Ryals. It was a wonderful learning experience and turned out to be such a quirky little piece that I still enjoy!
As an actress, director, editor, writer and producer is there a certain part of filmmaking you enjoy or do you love all aspects of making projects?
I honestly just consider myself an artist and love all aspects of filmmaking. Last year I did a lot of producing, this year has been mostly writing and directing. It's all storytelling and just different ways to do that, which is so exciting to explore.
How much has your approach to your projects changed since you started?
It's constantly changing. I've definitely become more and more collaborative, but I also have learned how to trust my instincts more and assert my ideas when I know they are good. I speak up more. I listen more, as well. I also don't want to make anything unless I feel like it's a challenge and a step forward. I don't want to stand still - I want to move up!
What is the one piece of advice you would offer a fellow filmmaker?
Be a team player. Learn how to take notes and have humility about your work, but also listen to your instincts. Over time you'll get better at knowing which notes to keep and which to ignore. But always be open to constructive criticism and collaboration!
Do you have any tips for a budding filmmaker?
Make work. Make bad work. Make lots of bad work. Write crap. Keep writing crap. Write so much crap that you think you are only going to ever make crap. Because one day the crap will crap out, and you'll start getting good. So keep doing it, even if you're doing it badly. Just keep going.
And finally, what 3 reasons would you give for people to support Tristan and Isaac?
1. Being a part of a film is really helping to tell a story - and storytelling is how we find ourselves in each other. Please contribute to be a part of this project, and check out our offered incentives. We'd like to reward you for being a part of our team!
2. Film (as opposed to digital) is making a comeback and we are eager to be a part of that movement. However it's an expensive medium, and we cannot do it without your support! Please help us bring this classic cinematic look to our film and be a part of the film conversation.
3. We cannot do this without you - even your small donations matter. We want you to fall in love with Tristan and Isaac, to be a part of their story as well. Please consider contributing to help create this beautiful piece meant to move!